1200 Ltd starting problems


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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Cycle Junkie
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Motorcycle: 76 GL1000LTD, 85 GL1200LTD, 93 GL1500 Aspencade, and others

1200 Ltd starting problems

Post by Cycle Junkie »



I have a 1200 Ltd which is giving me troubles. If the battery is 12.5 or above, it usually starts okay. Below that, it cranks about 2-3 seconds, the fuel system light comes on, and the LED's indicate the crank position sensor, and it won't start. Sometimes if I hold the throttle open and crank, it might start. finally found the plug for the sensor, and I get differing readings. Once when it wouldn't start, the sensor tested at 365 ohms, but the LED's were flashing. Could there be a power drop issue when cranking, causing the ECM not to read the CPS? How much power is required for the ECM to function, and which wire should I be testing to see of I have a power drop to the ECM while cranking. On the plus side, if it does look like the CPS, I have a spare engine waiting to go into my 1500 with sensors on it, which I have read will adapt to the 1200 Ltd. I'm sorry this is a little long winded, I just want to explain as best I could what I'm dealing with. By the way, the battery is brand new. Maybe an injection guru has run into this before? Thank you, Emmett



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virgilmobile
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Re: 1200 Ltd starting problems

Post by virgilmobile »

I am by no means a guru however I once slept at a Holliday in :roll:
You mention that it starts ok when the battery is 12.5 volts or above but struggles below that.
Another question is voltage drop possibly causing the problem.
Yes...Voltage drop can affect electronics..I know that the 1500 won't spark if the ignition module drops below 10 volts or so...
I would suggest first to verify that this is your problem.
With a meter,attach it to the module power wires.
Both of them..ground and power.Do not hook the meter to the battery or frame.
You want to measure the volts directly going to the module.Both the power and ground connection.Then move the positive meter lead to the coils and measure the volts there.
Crank the bike and look.
If it's low,move the ground wire of the meter to the battery ground post and test again.
If it's just as low,connect the meter direct to the battery posts and crank.Is the battery holding up?
This will tell if you have a ground problem,power feed problem or battery problem.
Once the problem is identified where there is a drop(if this is the problem) corrective measures can be made to fix it.
There are two test points while using the cfi module green wire for the meter ground.The module hot wire is (white) and the ignition coil wire is (black/white).


I resolved my hard starting bike due to voltage drop by "augmenting" the power distribution to the ignition system.My 1.4 volt drop is no more.I have full battery volts every time..Spark spark zoom. :P



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Rednaxs60
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Re: 1200 Ltd starting problems

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Have to weigh in here. First and foremost, do you have the OEM service, Electrical Troubleshooting, and Supplement manuals. Without these you will be asking a lot of questions and getting answers that may or may not be applicable.

You can use a 1500 sensor, but you will have to modify the mounting bosses to suit, BTDT. You can install the Ns sensor in the upper or lower position, and the engine operates just fine, BTDT. Would recommend a set of PG sensors from an '85 Aspencade. The Aspencade uses two sensors and these will install without an issue. You will have to remove the wires for one of the sensors and install in the connector under the shelter. The second sensor is installed and can be used of the first sensor fails, have this installed on my '85 LTD.

If the Ns sensor is faulty, the engine will not start.

If the battery is above 12.5 VDC and the engine starts, then I would be looking for a power drain if the voltage is less. I generally see 12.8 on start. You could connect an auto battery in parallel to see what happens - won't hurt the electrical system.

There is a 30 amp circuit connected to the starter solenoid that powers the CFI system. Make sure the fuse is good.

Check the starter power draw, it is a considerable power drain. May want to look into cleaning the starter. There are threads on this forum regarding this.

Having mentioned the above, need the manuals, then troubleshoot the system. No other way, or easier route.

Good luck.
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest

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Re: 1200 Ltd starting problems

Post by Cycle Junkie »

Thanks Rednaxs60,
Now it won't start no matter what I do. As I said, I have a set of 1500 sensors, so I may try and put one on and try it. This bike has a sordid history. A friend of mine had it, it just quit running, he couldn't get anyone to check it out. He gave it to another mutual friend, and it sat. He gave it to me in a trade deal, and it sat for 5 more years. I fixed several connection issues, and rode it about half a season, but always had trouble starting it hot. maybe this part was going all along, and has now just given up the ghost. I'm just not looking forward to pulling the radiator and all to replace it. My biggest problem is time. By profession, I am a tractor trailer driver for a sod farm. Sod season is riding season. I can't get out of the truck long enough to enjoy the bike. These 26 hour days just aren't long enough to get anything done! Thank you for your time and patience.

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Rednaxs60
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Re: 1200 Ltd starting problems

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Last year I put a second '85 LTD on the road after a 4 year rest. I bought the bike as a parts bike, but had Christmas 2017, my brother and I had it in his garage, thawed it out, and tried an engine start. Got the fuel flowing, lots of crap in the lines and took some time to clear it out. Replaced the fuel pump, starter and such. We boosted it and it turned over but no fire. Then it kicked, surprised both of us, and our eyes were like saucers. Next try it started and settled into a good idle. At this point decided it was a road bike and not for the parts bin. Went back in May/June last year and put it on the road and brought it from northern Ontario, Canada to Victoria, BC. Sold it when I got it here, had a great ride across Canada.

Had a lot of work to do to this bike to get it road worthy, but it was worth it.

There is a "FUEL" dash light and "FUEL SYSTEM" dash light. The first is for fuel tank level and comes on with about 3 litres left in the tank. The second is the CFI warning light, similar to an automotive check engine light, has nothing to do with the fuel system itself. The ECU located under the trunk does a system diagnostic as soon as the key is turned on. No issues and the light goes out, issues and the light stays on - this happens before the engine starts, or completes after engine starts. If the FUEL SYSTEM light on your bike goes out after you turn the key to ON, there is no issue with the CFI system, the issue is elsewhere. If the FUEL SYSTEM light stays on check the ECU for an error code.

I have found that this bike does not do the intermittent electrical gremlin trick with the CFI system, it is very robust.

I would prove the fuel system pressures, 36 PSI static - key on engine not started. Pressure 28-34 PSI key on engine started.

I would still look at the starter as a possible issue, huge power draw.

PM sent.

Good luck.
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest

Cycle Junkie
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:11 pm
Location: North Kingstown, RI
Motorcycle: 76 GL1000LTD, 85 GL1200LTD, 93 GL1500 Aspencade, and others

Re: 1200 Ltd starting problems

Post by Cycle Junkie »

SUCCESS!
I wired in the sensor from my spare 1500 engine, and the bike runs GREAT! Starts right up every time, and runs flawless. now just a couple minor electric issues, and we're in good shape, but nothing that will keep me from riding her. I love my Wings, and hopefully this one will serve me well until others can be finished and ridden. I have a 1200 Aspencade I had to change the engine in due to an unfortunate incident that allowed water into the engine, a 1000Ltd that was from an old friend that has just been out of service for a long time, and my 1500, which is the best choice for 2-up. Looks like I have my work cut out for me this winter. Much thanks to Rednaxs60 for info and advice. It was greatly appreciated.
"She may be old, but she's still Gold"

Best regards, Emmett



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